Friday, 12 August 2016

On side winds

The advertised distance between Lairg and Tongue was 62 km so I set off with less than any sort of hurry. In fact, I rode back about a mile to the Ferrycroft Interpretive Centre to delay my departure from Lairg. It was only moderately interesting.

The weather was quite frustrating today with a crosswind that alternatively helped and hindered. In truth, I think the wind was more assist than hindrance. With the wind came weather in great variety: rain, sun and cloud all competed but the most common was a very fine and thin rain that only barely required rain gear.

In addition, the landscape was relatively devoid of landmarks from which I could locate my position with any certainty. I rolled through pasture, moor, forestry commission forests and the stumps there of until I came to the hamlet of Crask.

Crask consists of the Crask Inn and one other house, currently for sale. It is surrounded by moorland and is off the electrical grid and so relies on its own generator and batteries. They applied to get permission to install a wind generator but were turned down by the planning committee.

I had seen another cyclist ahead of me. When I went into the Inn, the proprietor asked me if I had gone past and come back. No, that was a different solo cyclist.

I had lunch there in the company of the owner and an assortment of border collies, one of whom placed a tennis ball on my table and tried to eye me into throwing it for him. I tried to tell him that the health board wouldn't stand for it but he wouldn't listen.

About halfway through lunch, an Englishman from Portsmouth in his twenties came in and announced to the owner that he had rented a house nearby for his gap year and would therefore start to be regular. This led to a discussion about how communion services were held in the inn about once a month. It seemed quite baroque. I chatted a bit with the Englishman and asked him to try not to go insane during the winter! ;-)

The next section went by in a blur as the wind and gravity were with me. The road went down along a valley in an orgy of whee marred only by the necessities of single track road.

The final section went along shore of Loch Loyal. The low clouds would sometimes part to reveal some of the mountains it was concealing. The teasers.

Decent day all told.

No comments: